Zion Springs Real Wedding bride processional entrance to the alter with guests at an outdoor wedding in rustic setting

3-Months Wedding Planning Timeline

Do you need to get married within the next three months? Did your circumstances change, and now you have to bring forward your wedding date? Right now, you might be in panic mode or, at the very least, rather anxious.  Or you might just decide that you don’t want to wait and don’t want to fuss with every single detail of a wedding that is months in the planning.  

We have experience with hundreds of weddings and have helped many couples plan their weddings in less than three months.   We are here to help you plan and organize and plan your wedding so you don’t miss anything and you can check off your list with confidence. 

In this article, we cover:

  • All-inclusive packages
  • Wedding planners
  • Wedding outfits
  • Weekday weddings
  • DIYs
  • Weekly checklist

Planning your wedding

Couples usually have at least a year to plan their wedding and have the luxury of time to give particular items on their list.  With a much shorter time, you must anticipate that you won’t necessarily get every single thing you want, and you need to be ready to compromise and be flexible. 

This doesn’t mean that you compromise on quality, but rather that you might need to set your priorities early and consider alternatives if required. As long as you are not focused (read as obsessed) with every tiny detail, this wedding time frame is absolutely manageable. 

Choose an all-inclusive wedding venue

You are in a situation where an all-inclusive wedding venue might save you time and stress, especially if it is a truly all-inclusive venue.  Bear in mind that some venues claim they are all-inclusive and leave you with contacting their approved vendors yourself, such as catering, florist, photography, wedding planner, DJ, lighting, etc.) 

If you choose to select your own vendors, eliminate them if they take too long to respond.  It is possibly a sign that they will not be as expedient as you need with such a short schedule.

Hire a wedding planner

Hire a wedding planner who can help you every step of the way and take many of the stressful decisions off your plate.  Their knowledge of and access to vendors eliminates the need for you to pare down a long list of potential suppliers. They will save you time and effort and will give you excellent advice and suggestions. 

Buy or rent your wedding outfit

Bridal shops require a six to nine-month lead when buying a wedding dress.  They need to place the order for your dress,  which is then made to order and shipped to the store.  Once it arrives, you will require two to three fittings for it to be tailored to fit. Anything less than six months is considered a rush order and will be expensive for expedited service.

If you manage to catch their trunk sales, you might find the perfect dress off-the-rack, and you will just need the alterations appointments. 

You can also find gorgeous dresses in department stores if you aren’t specific about traditional wedding gowns.  Some brides opt to get a family member’s dress altered to fit them.  Alternatively, you can order a wedding dress online and even check out Amazon or eBay websites for some ready-made dresses. 

Create a wedding guest list

Consider limiting your guest list as you will find more venues are available when it comes to smaller groups. It’s easier to fit a smaller group into a larger venue than vice versa.  You also open up the opportunity to include restaurants or small event rooms in your choices, whereas a limited number of venues with large room capacities may be booked up well in advance.  And, as an aside, with a smaller number of people invited, you will reduce the tardy RSVPs.


Consider a weekday wedding

With the majority of weddings taking place on weekends, you have a whole five days open to you for your wedding day.  There is less demand on these days, and therefore many more options and openings for you. 

Minimize the D.I.Y.s for your wedding

You are going to have so much going on over the next three months that you should possibly limit how much of the do-it-yourself tasks you take on.  

If you have friends and family who can help you reach out to them for assistance, otherwise carefully choose a few projects that you think are manageable, and look elsewhere to accomplish the tasks you are unable to complete.

Wedding checklist by the week







Set your wedding budget and priorities list

This dictates the size of your wedding, the number of guests, and where you want to spend most of your money


Choose a venue - the size is based on your guest list

Choose 3 venues and arrange for tours


Set your wedding date and time


Hire a wedding planner


Select your wedding party

Maid of honor and bridesmaids, best man and groomsmen, flowergirl and ring bearer


Bride's and bridesmaids' wedding dresses and schedule alteration fittings

Wedding dress, bridesmaids' outfits, veil, shoes (needed for fittings), accessories,


Groom's and groomsmen suits and and schedule alteration fittings

Suits, ties, and shoes, cufflinks


Create wedding website

Central place for all announcements and updates


Order and send Save the Date notices

Online announcements save time


Order invitations

Design online versions


Book venue wedding night accommodation

See if venue have a (complimentary) bridal suite




Hire a catering vendor

Select menu and set up a tasting date, beverage and bar options


Hire a florist


Hire a photographer


Hire a videographer


Book musicians


Rent furniture, flatware, glassware, and linens

Check to see if venue include these in a package


Create guest list


Purchase wedding insurance


Apply for destination wedding travel documents (if required)

Order expedited service for passports, visas, etc.




Organize Destination wedding accommodation and transport (if required)

 including block booking for guests


Purchase wedding rings and schedule a fitting


Hire a cake vendor

See if the caterer includes the wedding cake, and set up a tasting date


Set up Registry online or in-store

Add a URL link to your wedding website


Book guest hotel room blocks


Rent bathroom trailers (if required)




Hire an officiant


Send bridal shower guests addresses to the maid of honor




Send wedding invites


Buy wedding rings




Schedule transportation for ceremony and reception

Limos, shuttles to ceremony and reception


Order favors and thank you gifts




Schedule makeup and hair appointments

Schedule test runs


Plan honeymoon and travel arrangements


Apply for marriage license

Research online for requirements. Valid for 60 days prior to the wedding day




Book rehearsal dinner


Organize childcare arrangements and activities




Choose ceremony readings, write vows, and reception speeches


Bachelor & Bachelorette party

Your maid of honor and best man organize the celebrations


Buy day-of accessories

Guest book and pen, toasting champagne flutes, cake servers, unity candle, ring pillow, etc.




Start creating seating chart


Follow up tardy RSVPs


Finalize shot list with your photographer and videographer


Finalize your song list for the ceremony and reception with your musicians/DJ


Review times and locations with limo/shuttle service




Give a final headcount to your caterer and other rental vendors


Finalize with your vendors

Check that everything is on schedule. Make sure your wedding planner or someone you trust has a copy, too.


Print seating chart table/cards


Assign somebody to collect your gifts and belongings after the reception


Assign somebody to oversee the return of rental items, including tuxes, the day after the wedding


Set up your support team

They handle problems or issues during the ceremony and reception in your place




Give your wedding planner a final timeline


Pack for the honeymoon


Pack emergency kit

Ibuprofen, Bandaids, sewing kit, wet wipes, laundry wipes/spray, pen & paper, small water bottle


Review contingency plan with venue in case of bad weather


Day before


Ceremony rehearsal 


Rehearsal dinner


Pick up rental tuxedos (if required)


Make gratuity envelopes

have a wedding party member hand them out after the reception


Deliver special items to venue and wedding planner

decorations, wedding favors, ceremony items, posters, etc. with written instructions


Check the weather report and pack essentials for inclement weather


Have your marriage license and rings ready and in a safe place


Preparing for a 3-month wedding

While you may be anxious about planning your wedding in such a short period of time, with careful planning and flexibility you are still able to have a wedding of your dreams.   Be prepared to compromise on some aspects and still maintain your priorities.  

Copy the checklist above so you can add or delete lines as needed.  Check off each item as you complete them.  Going with an all-inclusive venue can alleviate most of the stress and planning involved in such a short time schedule.  Work closely with your wedding planner, who can give advice and suggestions that eliminate a list of problems.  You might also be wondering how much you need to budget for your wedding, and our article on What is our wedding going to cost? gives you a comprehensive breakdown of everything you need for your wedding.

Here at Zion Springs, we provide couples with an all-inclusive wedding experience, but we’ll give you some info on the other types of weddings out there so you can work towards making an informed choice that best suits your needs. Check out our other articles on all the different steps in planning your wedding

(Note: no compensation was received for mentions and links)